Partner law offices are the worksites for LfA Fellows and the backbone of our organization. We are actively enrolling nonprofit and government organizations to be our partners.
Our Fellows provide human capital to partner sites facing high volumes of work and shortages of manpower. LfA Fellows work at partner sites for approximately 21 months, encompassing their last year of law school and their first year after graduation. Our Fellows will provide much-needed high quality staffing for our partner organizations.
While partner organizations must pay for the support of Fellows, LfA Fellows are very inexpensive compared to regular first-year attorneys. The payment for a two-year LfA fellow is approximately half the fully-allocated cost of a first year attorney within a given geographic region (depending upon salaries and costs of benefits packages). One new attorney salary and benefits could thus put four Fellows into a partner office at one time: two third-year students and two new attorneys (who have spent their third year at the office). We believe there could be as much as a 3:1 productivity gain. Thus, LfA enables our partner offices to increase their overall manpower while staying within existing budgetary frameworks.
Almost all of the cost for Fellows goes toward their support in the form of salary and benefits for their first post-graduate year (and such necessary expenses as insurance). LfA will be seeking grants and philanthropic funds to support the central organization. LfA also intends to seek contributions from the legal and general community to help support fellowships at very low-budget organizations facing high levels of unmet legal need.
Implementing our program and getting LfA Fellows into your office is a simple process. We encourage you to contact us to discuss our program and to become an LfA partner.
LfA Fellow applications are screened by law school faculty and staff, and then sent to partner sites for interviews and selection. The selection process will take place during the 2L year, at a time selected by the participating law school.
As 3Ls in the program, each LfA Fellow will be a tuition-payer at his or her law school, supervised by faculty who will also provide the necessary classroom component for the clinical program, while a full participant in the work of the partner law office. Fellows will be eligible for student financial aid.
LfA Fellows do not compete with, but rather complement, fellows provided by such programs as Equal Justice Works and Skadden Fellows. The number of fellows in all such existing programs is small compared to the amount of unmet legal need. Because participating, and benefiting, work sites will be budgeting for Fellows, the LfA program will not be reliant on the vagaries of outside philanthropic dollars and will be able to provide a stable source of legal manpower for partner offices.
LfA Fellows will not have any entitlement to continued employment at partner offices. As our program increases in size, LfA anticipates holding “job fairs” with the expectation that Fellows will be sought-after employees in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors of the legal community.